This first iteration of 33ºSouth comprises three large video screens and a generative system. Two screens with video footage shot by the artists in Santiago and Sydney between 2007/2008 are set in opposition. Each video is 33 minutes, 54 seconds and 15 frames long, coinciding with the geospatial location of Casula Powerhouse (33°56'56"S). In the third (central) screen, video footage from both locations is reframed and composited by the database system using live data from both places. One set of data is made up of local air pollution levels in Santiago and water quality in Sydney, which are used to drive and compose the live video installation. The other set is the historical data of the Southern Oscillation Index (El Niño and La Niña phenomena) that affect the coasts of Australia and Chile in irregular and intermittent patterns. These are tracked as global weather enters the video space to select the video display based on meta-tags. The audience is invited to create a mental map of the superimposition of both locales and the system creates a heterotopic visual and sound scape by combining and recombining meta-data.


33ºSouth explores the cultural, economic and environmental politics of juxtaposing two urban spaces into a heterotopic space. Heterotopias are displaced/dislocated spaces. In Michel Foucault’s use of the concept, heterotopias are places and spaces that function in non-hegemonic conditions. These are spaces of otherness, which are neither here nor there, that are simultaneously physical and mental. Unlike utopic or dystopic spaces, heterotopias have complex and fuzzy layers of meaning and relationships, which we use in order to think about the contemporary emergence of difference, class and identity as core issues in the histories/geographies of Sydney and Santiago.


The video images combine documentary film/video and video art aesthetics, at times evoking a sort of hyperrealism of the everyday, as in the cinema of Akerman. The visual/sonic elements in the video explore those ‘tactics of habitat' in the everyday life of people and things, to reveal the uncanny logics and practices of place that too often transpose the rationality of power into material practice. The new heterotopic space that emerges will always be variable, changing in form, function, and meaning according to either/both the specific synchrony of the database, or the mental reconstruction of viewers. As such, the installation is presented as a work of experimental geography, one that invites the collusion of the ambiguous, the poetic and the empirical.